FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Date: April 9, 2002

         Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716

The Laramie Project to be presented at UIS

SPRINGFIELD – The Laramie Project, a play by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 25, 26, and 27, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in the Studio Theatre, lower level of the Public Affairs Center on campus at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The play focuses on events around and following the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was beaten, tied to a fence post, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998.

Kaufman says he was struck by how the story of Shepard=s death captured national attention, and he further noticed how its symbolism caught people’s imagination. He began wondering what people in Laramie were talking about among themselves and, as a result, he and the members of his company spent more than a year interviewing the citizens of Laramie.

The play is not structured in scenes, but in moments, addressing the various issues relating to the tragedy and painting a portrait of a social milieu. Directed by Phil Funkenbusch, the cast includes Grant Johnson, Ed MacMurdo, Dale Mason, Bridget O=Brien, Becky Otwell, Sharron Santure, Barb Schwartz, Ron Seney, Fred Williamason, and Mary Young.

The event is presented by GLOBAL Diversity and is sponsored in part by the GLBT Student Club, Inter-Club Council Board, the Student Government Association, and the Diversity Task Force, all at UIS, and the Lincoln Land Community College Alliance.  All UIS, LLCC, and Springfield high school students will be admitted free.  Tickets for non-students are $10 and can be purchased at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center, phone (217) 206-6160 or (800) 207-6969.  Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.